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Mind-Body Wellness – What it is and Why it Matters

Defining Mind-Body Wellness

Practicing mind-body wellness can bring forth a slew of benefits for the mind and body, including reduction of stress, improvement in depression and even helping with tobacco addiction.

How Are the Mind and Body Connected?

It may seem at a first glance that the mind and the body are two separate entities, each having their own distinct functions, problems and methods of care. The reality however, is that the mind and body function in a symbiotic manner, each one contributing largely to the other. This connection can be seen for example, when completing a good workout and noticing the shift in mental perception as a result or how when the body falls ill there is often a negative change in mental well-being too.

The reverse is true too, your emotional and mental states have a direct impact on your physical health. Certain mood disorders such as depression can manifest themselves as physical discomforts and pains in the joints, limbs and gastrointestinal systems. An important part of emotional well-being is having quality social bonds, and studies show as well that a lack of social interaction and satisfaction lead to negative physical health outcomes.

How to Practice Mind-Body Wellness

The strong connection of the mind and the body can not be overlooked. Fostering a healthy mind will lead to an improvement of physical health and in turn taking care of your body will result in a happier and healthier mind. So how does one put into practice mind-body wellness? Here are some techniques and practices that you can implement to bring balance, peace and health into your life.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation is the act of intentional redirection or focus of the mind on a specific target to improve concentration, promote mindfulness and lower stress. There are many different variations of meditation but at its root, it is a way of training the mind and bringing about a greater sense of peace. 

The power of this practice can not be understated and benefits range from reduced stress, greater awareness of oneself, improved emotional regulation and concentration and a more resilient mind. 

There are also some physical benefits to meditation as well, such as lowering the risk of cardiovascular incidence, reducing the perception of chronic pain and in certain forms of meditation which focus specifically on breathwork can help to improve respiratory function.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a yogi or a monk to reap the benefits of meditation – anyone can do it and it doesn’t need to take up long portions of your day. Studies have indicated that just 10 minutes of meditation daily may have an impact on brain functionality.

In order to make meditation a part of your daily life, it is recommended that you find a time in your day that you will be able to dedicate to meditating and adhere to that schedule. For example, you can make a 10 minute meditation a part of your morning routine, or try a quick session as you wind down during the night. The important part is that you stay consistent and set up a window of time in which you can reliably commit to.


Originating from ancient India, the practice of yoga is now widespread on a global scale and a very popular way to keep the body and mind healthy. Yoga is a conglomeration of various poses and breathing patterns, sometimes including mantras designed to unite the mind, body and spirit. 

Adding a yoga routine into your life can bring a surprising amount of benefits. From a physical standpoint, yoga can help aid in relieving certain body pains such as in the back or helping to alleviate arthritis complications. It has also been shown that yoga promotes a healthy heart through the reduction of inflammation, lowering of blood pressure and loss of excess body weight. 

In terms of mental health, yoga aids in elevating mood and increasing energy, relieving stress and even helping to relax before heading off to bed for the night.

Not only does participation in yoga have numerous beneficial outcomes for both the mind and the body, but there are an infinite amount of possibilities when it comes to each individual session. Some forms of yoga include hatha, yin and restorative. Each person will have their own ways of doing yoga that bring them the benefits that they need, so exploration is highly encouraged.


Breathing is something that we do automatically without fail day in and day out without much thought. The way that we breathe however, can actually have a profound effect on our mind-body wellness. By focusing on the breath, one can actually bring forth a state of relaxation and lower the levels of certain stress hormones such as cortisol and reduce muscle tension.

Practicing breathwork is relatively simple. For example, deep breaths taken slowly through the diaphragm and inhaled at an even slower pace are good for putting the body into a relaxed state. To reduce anxiety you can utilize alternate nostril breathing, which involves gently covering one nostril and breathing deeply, exhaling, and then repeating with the other nostril.

Nutrition and Mind-Body Wellness

There is an old saying that says ‘you are what you eat’, and when it comes to nurturing mind-body wellness it couldn’t be more true. What we put into our bodies on a daily basis makes a big difference in the way that we feel, look and even act. For example, it has been shown that excessive consumption of high sugar food and beverages is linked to mood disorders such as depression.

So how can we ensure that we are eating a balanced and healthy diet to promote our best selves? It’s always a good idea to minimize intake of highly processed foods such as cookies and cakes, frozen convenience foods like pizzas or TV dinners, and salty snacks like potato chips. These foods can have detrimental effects on health with their intake shown to cause serious issues including high blood pressure, obesity and heart problems

In place of eating these kinds of foods, try and replace them with the highest quantity of whole-foods that you can get your hands on. Fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains are all great options that provide plenty of nutrients while keeping the calorie count low. Fish and lean meats such as turkey and chicken also make for excellent sources of protein and will help to keep you satiated longer.

Of course it may seem difficult to stick to a strict diet without any room for a treat every now and then. Clearly you will be at your healthiest if you were to eat only clean whole-foods all the time but it can be nearly impossible to achieve such a goal and allowing yourself some wiggle room can allow you to maintain an overall healthy diet. A good rule to follow is try and keep 90 percent of your diet clean and unprocessed while giving yourself the other 10 percent to indulge a little.

Physical Activity and Mind-Body Wellness

Human beings were designed to move, and it turns out that when we don’t do so enough there are negative consequences. We all know that exercise is a key component to staying slim and building muscles, but did you know that leading a sedentary lifestyle can lead not only to weight gain, but to a reduction in emotional wellbeing, high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer. 

Physical activity is paramount when trying to improve mind-body wellness, and the lack thereof wreaks havoc upon an individual. The good news is that adding exercise into your routine doesn’t have to involve going to the gym for hours or running a marathon every day. 

Any amount of exercise will benefit you in the long run but studies suggest that getting at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly will keep you relatively healthy. Increasing that amount to 300 minutes or more will put you in position to extend your life and feel your best.

Aside from the physical benefits that come with being in shape, exercise is also thought to help us feel good by increasing blood flow to the brain and affecting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The mental effects are astounding, ranging from boosting mood and reducing symptoms of anxiety to even reversing self-isolation and improving cognitive function.

Daily exercise can be as simple as taking a few 10 minute walks when the opportunity comes around or as complicated as taking on a full-body workout routine six days a week. It is important that you evaluate your schedule and find a way to incorporate at least a small window for exercise everyday to keep your mind and body functioning at their peak.

Mind-Body Wellness - Something to Strive For

Now you know that the mind and the body are vastly intertwined, and that caring for one is equally as important as caring for the other. There are many habits and activities one can do to ensure that their mind and body stay as healthy as possible, and with a little planning anyone can achieve a positive lifestyle that supports their aspirations, whatever they may be.

It can be a little daunting trying to work out all of the details, making the changes that are necessary to push forward and live the life that you want. Here at [Polaris Counseling & Consulting] our hand picked team works seamlessly together to provide you with the high-quality and professional grade service you deserve with the personalized, authentic style you desire. We will work with you to confront your issues, move past your challenges, know what it takes to get you beyond your difficulties, and inspire you to achieve your fullest sense of self and discover true wellness.

Looking to book an appointment? Get started on your path to a healthier tomorrow here